CAIRNS IM update – It wasn’t my day on Sunday 10 June 2018 in Cairns. I’ve searched for explanations, as I really wasn’t expecting this kind of result. I’ve been more strategic with my training this year and generally adjusted my load, as I’ve come to appreciate that my heart needs more recovery time than the average Joe between sessions, So, I thought at first that perhaps I simply hadn’t done enough training volume to manage the day and considered my heart to be the limiting factor. While this might have had some bearing, though, I don’t think it was the root cause as I’ve been feeling fitter and stronger than ever of late and have definitely built my endurance base. Other things were going on, and I don’t think I actually arrived at the start line with the right emotions this time. What’s more, in hindsight, I should have paid more attention to my bike fit out leading into the event. My bike normally always feels super comfortable but as soon as I got on the bike after the swim transition I felt like I was sitting too low, as if I needed to raise my seat. So much so that I seriously considered stopping within a kilometre of leaving Palm Cove, to adjust it – but I didn’t because I was worried about wasting time. I wish I had, in hindsight. It was an odd feeling, and after thinking it through, I really think this was probably the biggest single factor impacting my ride. Coming off the bike and hitting the bitumen after getting a flat 21km into the course didn’t help either, though the IM support crew were absolutely fabulous roadside. I didn’t feel comfortable for most of the ride, and at 150km back at Palm Cove I made the call to get off the bike and forfeit the run. I didn’t see any point in finishing for the sake of finishing, or running myself into the ground to face a longer recovery, when I was so way off my target. Better to save my energy for a swifter return to training.

I think it is important for me to disclose the things that haven’t made me happy, on the training and event path. Reporting on only the positive outcomes would be a falsehood. So, I decided to write this report. I also recognise that it’s me at a time and place, and I’m still working through the experience. 

I’m not sure that I really enjoyed Cairns this year. It’s been a real watershed moment for me. I’m making some decisions about how to move forward. Looking forward to getting a couple more IM 70.3s under my belt and investing some time in track athletics later this year. It certainly hasn’t killed my love for this sport. More anon.


Author: Kara Gilbert @ KMG Communications

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